★★★★ Mi­crosoft, Xbox (also other Win­dows de­vices)

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN& GAMES - CIARA O’BRIEN

Mi­crosoft is try­ing its hand at the mu­sic busi­ness, and Xbox Mu­sic is the lat­est add-on for the con­sole, with the Mu­sic Pass giv­ing you ac­cess to un­lim­ited ad-free mu­sic both on­line and off­line for a fee. It’s easy to use, which is a must for a ser­vice like this. You can search for mu­sic by artists , use Kinect to voice search if you have it (with some­times un­in­ten­tion­ally hi­lar­i­ous re­sults) or through the con­troller. The cloud-based ser­vice also links up with Win­dows 8 de­vices, so you can cre­ate playlists there and they will au­to­mat­i­cally ap­pear on your con­sole. The mu­sic choice is fairly wide, rang­ing from new re­leases to Broad­way mu­si­cal sound­tracks. If your own tastes in­clude more eclec­tic stuff that isn’t on the plat­form, you will even­tu­ally be able to add it to your Xbox Mu­sic cloud cat­a­logue, with Mi­crosoft promis­ing the abil­ity to in­clude all the mu­sic you own, re­gard­less of what ser­vice you bought it through. The date for that is a bit am­bigu­ous, with Mi­crosoft plan­ning it “for the com­ing year”.

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